Lage | On Everton win, first-half display and Raul's half century

Bruno Lage believed Wolves were well deserving of all three points in their victory over Everton, especially due to an impressive first 45 minutes.

After two landmark strikes – Maximilian Kilman’s first goal in old gold and Raul Jimenez’s 50th – Wolves cruised to a first-half lead before Everton fought back after the break, but Wolves held on to make it five games unbeaten.

Lage was full of praise for his side, who moved up to seventh in the Premier League table with 16 points, but the head coach knows there are still areas his side need to improve on.

On a positive first-half display

“It was very good. The way we play, the chances we create, the goals we score, I think it was very good.

“What we did in the first-half, we don’t deserve to suffer a little bit in the second-half. We did very well in the first 45 minutes, we managed the ball in the way we want, we create a lot of problems, we find the spaces, we want to play, and for the chances we create, at 2-0 it was very good for us in that situation.

“They changed a little bit in the second-half, they tried to play with three midfielders to control more the inside game, and we didn’t adapt to that. We started to manage the ball, but we didn’t press like we press in the first-half.

“There were more long balls from us, more staying in the block and we didn’t press the way we should press and we conceded some chances from Everton. But even then, we created some chances in the second-half, and if you look over the 90 minutes, I think we deserved the three points for us.”

On scoring first-half goals

“These kinds of things can happen. That’s why every game has its own history. We prepared the game very well, we had a long time to prepare the game, because we play Saturday and then Monday, we saw what Everton did and the space we can have to find the right spaces, and when they played with 4-4-2, we found the right spaces.

“When they changed a little bit, they created problems for us. I don’t care if we score goals in the first-half or the second-half. What I want is a team clever enough to understand how the opponents are playing, and when the threat comes, where the spaces are where we can attack them.

“We need to be as a team for the full game. That’s one of the things we can aim for. But we need to understand that when the other team changes, we need to adapt and understand how they are playing now, and we need to continue to do our performance.”

On an improved performance

“Remember the way we tried to play in the first three games, and that’s the team that I want. Sometimes we need to understand it’s about strategy, when we want to press, how we can press, and when we have the ball, we have to control the ball.

“I don’t care about the percentage of ball possession because we managed the game like we want.

“When you have the ball, we don’t need to be defending so much, so we need to understand that sometimes we just need to have the ball, don’t lose it in an easy way and don’t go back into a defensive position.”

On a 50th Wolves goal for Jimenez

“What Raul does for us, he runs 90 minutes, he’s the first guy to press. This is the most important thing he does for us; the way he runs for the press, and the way he comes to link the play between the lines is important for us.

“It’s a good example of his personality. He run and he believed the ball would go to him and he scored. That’s why he’s a good example of what a striker can be.

“He knows how to run, he helps us a lot in the press, he pressed our defender, he goes after the ball, and he scored a precious goal for us.”

On Rayan Ait-Nouri’s impact

“That’s the team we want to build, with two strong players in each position, and have that kind of competition.

“We don’t have Marcal, we have Ait-Nouri, and we know from the past that his offensive is very good, and we’ve been working since the first day on his defending, especially in the situations one against one.

“You could see he did very well and he played against a top player and did very well – not just defending, but in attack.”

On moving up to seventh

“For now, I don’t care about the table, but what I want is the points, and sixteen points for us is very good.

“I think the winter will be hard for us, we have a small squad, so we need to work hard to win the most points we can, so we need these kinds of games.”